Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Interesting content, but very lazy
on 7 January 2013
Do you have a decent DVD collection and a free weekend? If so you could easily write this book.
There is a desperate shortage of decent education material on composition and camera movement for film, so I have read most books out there. This book doesn't attempt any synthesis or theoretical discussion, but instead is just a catalogue of shots from well known movies.
I would have preferred if the author had at least tried to form some kind of general theory from the example shots, but it is what it is.
The main problem is the incredible laziness with which the material was put together. There is one (1!) example for each shot. How hard would it have been to find a second example of each shot? If there is no second example for the shot how are we to know if this is really a reusable shot, or when it is appropriate? Can you really learn or generalize from a single example?
Instead of a second example we get an ugly Poser recreation of the scene that provides no value.
The examples frames are generally too few in number to give any understanding of the motion in the shot. The diagrams of the camera movement generally don't include essential information like the direction of rotation of the camera.
The text is generally vague, and is in a huge font that takes up valuable space that could have been used for more stills.
The printing quality is woeful, and much squinting and peering is required to make sense of any darker stills.
With all that said, there are some interesting examples in this book, and most readers will probably get something out of it.
But, if you have the discipline, and the time, then you would get much more by watching a few good DVDs with a notebook handy.